Nic Brunsdon- 2015 National Emerging Architect Prize
Photo: Thom Perry (Moana).
Congratulations to Perth Architect Nic Brunsdon who has just won the highly prestigious 2015 National Emerging Architect Prize.
We tracked Nic down to chat about the award and his design perspective.
What projects did you showcase to the board to secure this prestigious award?
The award is judged on 4 criteria which are:
- “excellence in architectural practice, research or education”
- “involvement in Australian Institute of Architects activities and/or forums of similar professional bodies”
- “contribution to architecture through leadership within the profession”
- “contribution to community activities such as charity and voluntary work related to the profession”
Photos: Dave Sharp | King St
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
“Tough question… I don’t think it’s something that you should ever be wholly conscious of. I think it’s something that is more so made sense of in looking back. My feeling is that if you’re spending your time defining your ‘aesthetic’, you’ve lost sight of the game and the beauty of the profession of architecture.
When we work well, we work from a place of deep understanding and revelry in the complexities of the site, brief, life, climate, context, history, construction, et al. The bringing together of these things results in an aesthetic. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for considering the poetics of material and making”.
Where do you source your creative inspiration from?
“I think it comes from everywhere. I’m not the greatest student of modern or contemporary architecture and I think that kind of devotion can lead to myopic work and narrow thought. We need to be students of humanity; all of us philosophers, watchers, thinkers. Filtered through optimism and idealism.
We are, after all, tasked with creating spaces for humans, it’s a good start to try to understand them. I believe that I became a much better architect when the world started opening up to me through travel, literature, art, thought and friends. That the broader your inputs, the more apt your outputs become”.
What have been some of your favourite architectural projects either locally or globally or both you admire that you have seen in recent years?
“I think MONA is the one. It is the absolute and supreme triumph of a strong brief, brilliant client, and master architect. More works like that please”.
What do you think defines a uniquely ‘Australian’ design aesthetic?
“Tough question to answer from a Perth perspective. I reckon we’re still in the midst of defining ourselves here. Nationally, my instinct says it’s somewhere between a Glenn Murcutt/Peter Stutchbury contextual elegance and a John Wardle/ARM opportune exuberance. I guess if we return to my comments above, an Australian Architecture would be appropriate for an Australian Person.
Now, let’s have fun trying to define that”…
Yes, design-estate wants to be a part of discovering our WA design sensibility too!
What are you most proud of professionally?
“I don’t know. I don’t really like reflecting. It feels like bad luck”.
“If anything (and the fear of a hex has already set it) it would be the moments where Spacemarket & Post- come together to create beautiful little projects and communities. “Architecture as curation”. The Ward, Moana and MANY are those moments and the people who live in those worlds are my bloody heroes”.
What would be your dream project?
“The first step is the dream client. From there, it really doesn’t matter what the project is… Life is too short to mess around. We only ever want to do great work with great people”.
- launched his first practice in 2006. His first completed project, Richmond House, won him the Best Small Home in 2007.
- After a stint overseas in 2011 he moved home and established an architecture and urbanism practice post- and the not-for-profit Spacemarket which redevelops abandoned urban spaces. In addition he continues to run his sole practice Nic Brunsdon.
Thanks Nic and we look forward to tracking your creative tales in the future.